Did you know that you should wait at least an hour after eating before brushing your teeth? In fact, brushing right after a meal may actually do more damage than good.
Why Should You Wait to Brush?
Your tooth enamel works to protect your teeth from damaging acids that can cause tooth decay. When left unbrushed, acids created by food can wear away that protective enamel. During meals, acid levels are elevated and your teeth are at their weakest state.
Your saliva is naturally corrects the high acid levels in your mouth and return it to a proper pH level. It naturally washes away food particles and gives your enamel the balance it needs to continue its protective work. This is why chewing gum with xylitol is mouth healthy, because it helps stimulate saliva production to naturally protect your teeth.
Brushing right after meals can actually cause more damage to your teeth! When your enamel is weak, even soft-bristled toothbrushes can be highly abrasive on your teeth. It’s best to let saliva accumulate and do its job after you eat. You can help the process along by rinsing your mouth with water or chewing sugarless gum which will help to increase the amount of saliva in your mouth even more.
But don’t forget to brush!
Before brushing, wait at least an hour for your teeth to recover from their weakened enamel state. Don’t forget to brush at least two times a day and for two minutes each time.
Does Your Child Have Sensitive Teeth?
If your child has tender teeth when brushing, then they may be brushing too soon after they eat. However, you should schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist if they are waiting an hour after their meals before brushing and are still experiencing pain. Use our pediatric dentist locator to find a pediatric dentist near you that can help your child get stronger tooth enamel and alleviate tooth pain.